Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hunter has more lobbyists' gifts than other area legislators combined

Rep. Steve Hunter, R-Joplin, added another $537.18 in gifts from lobbyists to his total, already one of the tops in the state, during March, according to documents posted today on the Missouri Ethics Commission website. That brings him to $1,728.99 for the first three months of 2006.
Hunter's total is about $200 more than the $1,550.74 his fellow area legislators Ed Emery, Ron Richard, Marilyn Ruestman, Bryan Stevenson, Kevin Wilson, and Gary Nodler combined.
The biggest amount, $342.26 for travel, came March 16 from William A. Gamble, apparently listed as coming from the Missouri Beverage Association, though Gamble has a host of clients, including Ameristar Casinos and Ameren UE.
Hunter also received $24 for meals, food and beverage from Sarah Topp, a lobbyist in Gamble's firm, on March 10. That, too, apparently came from the Missouri Beverage Association, according to the documents.
Among the other lobbyists adding to Hunter's total were:
-James Farrell, Missouri Coalition for Preservation and Economic Development, $40.25 for meals, food and beverage on March 8
-Drue Duncan, Ameren UE, $15.09 for meals on March 9.
-John Kristan Jones, $7.29 for meals on March 15
-Ginger Steinmetz, listed as Steinmetz Consulting, $21.40 for meals on March 29.
-Richard C. Wiles, Missouri Cable Telecommunications, $72.89 for meals, food and beverage on March 1. On the same day, Hunter received a gift worth $14 from Gregory Harrison, another lobbyist for the cable interest.
Ed Emery
You could take the amount of lobbyists' gifts Ed Emery, R-Lamar, has received for the entire calendar year, $40.15, multiply it by eight and still have less than Hunter received for travel from William A. Gamble on March 16.
Emery's only listing for March, a $14 gift from Harrison from Missouri Cable Telecommunications, came on the first day of the month.
Ron Richard
Ron Richard, R-Joplin, received $162.03 in gifts during March, bringing him to $575.27 for 2006. He also was a recipient of the Missouri Cable Telecommunications blitz on March 1, picking up $72.89 in meals from Richard C. Wiles and that $14 gift from Harrison.
Richard also received a $44.63 meal from James Bantham of CitiGroup Management March 15, and $30.51 for meals from Joseph Treadway of First Guard Health Plan March 29.
Marilyn Ruestman
Ms. Ruestman, R-Joplin, has received $81.72 worth of gifts from lobbyists this year, according to the Ethics Commission documents. In March, her total was $22, the $14 gift from Harrison, and an $8 meal from Sarah Topp of Missouri Beverage Association.
Bryan Stevenson
Stevenson reported only one gift for March, the same $14 gift from Harrison, bringing the Webb City Republican's total to $521.09 for the year.
Kevin Wilson
Chalk up the same $14 gift from Harrison for Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho. Otherwise, Wilson received no lobbyist gifts in March, and has a total of $112.21 for 2006.
Gary Nodler
Nodler's only gift was the same $14 one from Harrison, according to the documents. He has received $210.30 for the year.

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